Good Fights and Some Lessons Learned

For those of you not from ‘MURICA!, I would like you all to know that this is the day Americans celebrate beating the Brits with loud noises and fire. It’s fun.

It’s also a day I don’t have to go to work. So I spent some time on Eve. Most of the time was spent ratting and hunting around in lo-sec. You can make so much money in there now while only risking a 20 or 30 million isk ship. It’s really pretty cool, and since you’re in lo-sec you can also come across some other players which can lead to some good pvp. In fact with the new addition of the tag rats in lo-sec, more players are hanging out in belts of low security systems where good fights can be had without the annoying mechanics of stargates, stations, and their associated guns.

evesecAzx and I have been spending a lot of our time out there recently. We’ve lost a lot of ships, but never anything worth too much, and we can easily make back the cost of our ships with just a handful of the security tags the rats drop. We were cruising our way through some backwater systems hunting for this bountiful loot when we came across an Omen doing the exact same thing. We decided now was the perfect time to try our little fleet composition.

With just the two of us things get tricky. We can take most frigates simply because there are two of us, but you rarely run into another frigate that is willing to 2v1 on your terms. Often times you come across cruiser hulls in lo-sec who are soloing. So we needed a way to negate their dps, point them, and still hack through their armor. We came up with a pretty good solution I think. Basically Azx runs a brawling shield tanked Merlin with some blasters for a whopping 170 dps. It’s afterburner keeps him moving at a good pace even when an enemy ship warp scrambles him. I fly a Crucifier. Yeah it’s that Amarr frigate you never see in pvp. But I realized recently that it has a drone bay. I love drones, and I love tracking disruptors and the two go really well together in my fit.

Basically what we do is have Azx warp right in on the target if possible and immediately start putting damage on the enemy ship and point him. The warp scramble is important as it negates any MWD their ship might have, keeping their speed well below 1,000 m/s unless their an especially fast frigate. It also keeps them from getting to me, who is completely tank less with the exception of my two tracking disruptors and MWD. I sit at about 30 km and disrupt the turrets of the enemy ship while throwing my 100 dps into the mix. The result is, “hopefully,” an enemy ship that is slower than us who can’t hit us. The two tracking disruptors really play havoc on enemy ships as you can see in the first ever Capsule in the Void video!

I should warn you, I am still getting the kinks worked out of my recording system. It’ll take some time but I have the youtube channel up and running so it shouldn’t be too much longer now. This video just highlighted the fleet fittings I wanted to blog about so I figured I would post it a little before my videos were up to par. The audio too for some reason only picked up Azx’s voice. Which is too bad, because I am hilarious. Anyway you can see for yourself!

One interesting thing about the videos is it let’s you really go back and learn from your combats. For instance I definitely did not notice how long his drones were attacking mine or when he deployed them. Obviously it would be nice to pay more attention and catch that earlier in the future. Another thing we realized is I’m generally out of the fight and have a pretty good chance of getting away. Maybeeee we should store our tag loot in my ship before we run off to a fight. Lastly it shows the world what kind of friend I am as I willfully abandon Azx to his doom!

Fitting Theory – Purify-i-core 10MN Afterburner Fit

Inspired by the 10MN Manticore video by Pirolat: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZLtHzH3uWis

A few days ago Mel sent the video above around to the corp. We were all pretty impressed with the ships this guy was taking down, and so the analysis of his fit began. We modified it a lot for a few reasons. First and foremost we are poor, so the faction afterburners and everything else Pirolat is using wasn’t reasonable for us. We are also primarily Amarr pilots and wanted to see if we could do something similar with the Purifier (thus the Purify-i-core designation). What we came up with is by no means perfect, but it seems like it can get the job done.

Before anyone starts to flame the post, this fitting can be greatly improved upon. I do not have the ideal skill set for this fit but am in the process of training towards it. Upgrades to rigs and modules will yield much more impressive results so feel free to tweak to your particular skills as you see fit.

I tested it a bit last night. The damage output is lower than I was hoping for, although most of that can be attributed to my less than ideal missile skill set. The Purifier also seemed to have a little bit of trouble keeping it’s velocity maxed out at an orbit that still allowed for the disruptor to be within range. It’s not impossible but it will take careful monitoring of your distance from the enemy ship for this to work. Pirolat I’m sure is using a 28km disruptor where I downgraded to a 24km version. Overheated I can reach to 28km and I’m not too worried about someone running away from me. This way I can save around 50 million isk.

One big perk of this fit is it’s cost. All told it is less than 50 million isk to buy and fit. That’s damn impressive considering the value of your targets. Your targets are the key though. Very similar to the Pilgrim fits, choosing what to engage and what to leave alone is a major consideration when hunting with this ship. Luckily for you a cloaking device allows you to do just this! All in all it’s a fun inexpensive ship that can really cause problems for some of the staple solo lo-sec big boys like Hurricanes, Cyclones and Drakes.

[Purifier, 10mn pvp]

Reactor Control Unit II
Reactor Control Unit II
Reactor Control Unit II

10MN Afterburner II
Faction Warp Disruptor (Based on cost you’re willing to spend)
Small Capacitor Booster II, Cap Booster 100

Covert Ops Cloaking Device II
Prototype ‘Arbalest’ Torpedo Launcher, Mjolnir Torpedo
Prototype ‘Arbalest’ Torpedo Launcher, Mjolnir Torpedo
Prototype ‘Arbalest’ Torpedo Launcher, Mjolnir Torpedo
Micro Graviton Smartbomb I

Small Auxiliary Thrusters I
Small Ancillary Current Router I

Looking at a Manticore Through the Scope

I logged into Eve to find the corp comms channel empty. Our bookmarks and message of the day didn’t offer much excitement either. Two grav sites, our static to lo-sec, and a lot of empty space. Well at least I can get my PI responsibilities taken care of without worrying about someone killing me. I notice the scanning report is dated a good five hours ago so I decide to jump into my Anathema before running planetary supplies around to make sure nothing new has popped up.

My scanning reveals two additional wormholes in our HQ system. The first leads to a C4, the second a C5 Magnetar. I scout each system, gathering intel on towers and ships I see around the system. The C4 only has a few signatures in it and one anomaly, so I decide to scan the system down for future use since it appears HQ is this systems static connection for now. I find two grav sites and three wormholes. Geez, no end to the exploration tonight I guess. One wormhole here is going to collapse soon, so I ignore it and explore the neighboring C2 and C4b. I’ve been scanning for almost an hour and a half at this point and I just don’t have the strength left in me to continue. I decide to head back to HQ and move my PI around since neither of the nearby systems seem to be active to any degree.

When I arrive back in the HQ system though I’m greeting with a fleet of scanning probes on my d-scanner. I’m pretty confident I didn’t leave them out, but you never know. No I’m positive, all probes accounted for on my ship and I’m pretty sure I would have noticed a ship moving through the C4. That leads me to believe that this is a visitor from the C5. I move off the wormhole and cloak while spamming the scan button. I’d like to find out what ship I’m dealing with before I decide to log for the night or provoke a fight. The probes mean he probably isn’t monitoring d-scan too closely and my Anathema is likely to be undetected so far.

Finally a Manticore appears on scanner as the probes disappear. It’s about what I’m expecting. A cloaking scout from the C5 (now confirmed because of the prefix in front of his ship’s name which matches the towers in the C5). I warp back to our tower and decide I will try the sniping Oracle fit. I built this ship to take out pesky scout ships on wormholes, this is a great chance to see if it works. His probes are out again and I’m hoping he hasn’t noticed my switch of ships while I rocket towards the C5 connection. I know I’ll never catch him before he goes through the wormhole on our side, so I jump through to the C5 and position myself 70km from the wormhole.

I’ve done a quick recon of the C5 again to make sure no additional pilots or ships have logged on. This is no guarantee mind you, but it gives me enough confidence to at least put the blockade up and give it a shot. My biggest fear at this point is having the Manticore come through the wormhole, see me 70km off the signature, and calling in backup before shedding his session cloak. I don’t think he has any friends online, and he can’t hold his session timer long enough to get an alt on and to my position. Either way I’m aligned to a celestial and ready to warp out of here in a second if things start to smell fishy.

I am nervous. This is a pretty expensive ship to be chasing scouts with, but I want to see how the fit preforms and send a message to our nosy neighbors that we’re not to be taken lightly. The waiting continues and my nerves are starting to fray. My eyes are glued to the directional scanner which fails to report anything new during the five minute long blockade. I’m on the verge of giving up and getting my ship back to the safety of the tower when the wormhole flares signalling the return of the Manticore. I hope.

My sensor boosters have been on the whole time. I charge up my beam lasers and hover my mouse over my overview, waiting for the session cloak to drop so I can pounce on my prey. The directional scanner is still clean, everything is perfect. I couldn’t ask for a better ambush. The session cloak drops and the Manticore immediately begins aligning towards one of his towers. My poor mouse button gets a beating as I spam click the Manticore’s overview icon trying to get a lock, but something’s wrong! The lock won’t hold! I’m not getting dampened or jammed. What is going on?! After about five or six seconds, the Manticore warps away unscathed, much to my disappointment. He had landed very close to the signature of the wormhole preventing him from cloaking as soon as he moved. Everything had gone exactly as I wanted to, but my ship just seemed to forget it’s targeting range!

I warp to my aligned celestial and immediately back to the wormhole at 0km. This is where I’m the most vulnerable. The Oracle has no tank and the time spent near wormholes or stargates are when trouble is a real possibility. I make it back through the wormhole and to my tower without any trouble. But what the heck happened? I check to log and see that it was telling me I wasn’t within targeting range. I can normally lock out to 99km and I was sure the Manticore was only 71km away! I had even checked the Magnetar adjustments before putting the ambush in place. I should have a 0.66 bonus to my…

Oh. That’s not a bonus at all. In fact that math explains exactly why I couldn’t lock the Manticore. I had misread the data table, expecting to see a minus sign in front of anything that would reduce my targeting range. Instead the “bonus” as published by ccp is actually more of a modifier. You’re targeting range is now only 66% of what it normally is. You are not receiving a 66% bonus to your range. That sucks. What an annoying reason for losing a kill. I grumble to myself for being so illiterate, and log off for the night. Hopefully all my scanning will pay off in the long run and someone in the corp will be able to get something productive done. Bob* knows I didn’t.

*For those of you that don’t know, Bob is the god of wormholes. At least that’s what our corp believes. All we do is in Bob’s glory. Actually we have a crazy story about setting up a POS where Bob’s intervention was the only explanation for the tower not being destroyed, but that’s a story for another time.

Oz Will Never Let Me Live This One Down

Eve time has been sporadic. Was out of town for most of the weekend and limited time between starcraft matches before that. I did manage to touch base with Snow for a bit before going away. She informed me that the corp needed more enriched uranium for POS needs and such. My planetary interaction has been focused on producing nano-factories for a while, but the profits aren’t very good and the turn around on them is very slow. I’m more than happy to reorganize some thing to help the corp out.

Enter my PI notebook. Scribbling commences as I note which planet types we have in our system and what resources are most abundant on each of them. It looks like the uranium won’t be a problem, but it’s going to eat up two of my command center slots. That’s fine, I’m thinking I’ll make something less labor intensive this time around. I opt for polytextiles since our system is rich in carbon compounds and autotrophs. Setup takes me a little under two hours but they start humming away nicely. When I logged back in a few days later I was already measuring uranium by the thousands and the polytextiles weren’t far behind.

I had just gotten back from my trip away, slightly sunburned and ready to catch up on the planets’ outputs. I take the Bestower out and warp to planet one to grab the first load. Just as I’m aligning to the next planet I see an Anathema pop up on my overview. He doesn’t have time to lock me up before I enter warp, but I also know I’m not going to have enough time to align to another target before he gets a second chance. Sure enough he drops out of warp next to me before I can even get the ship turned around. I drop all of my cargo into our customs station at planet two. At least I can prevent them from stealing my stuff even if I can’t keep them for blowing up my hauler.

It takes what seems a lifetime. The Anathema is not made for combat. Even though my ship is completely defenseless, it is taking quite some time for him to blast his way through my armor. A Manticore showed up at some point but I was too busy giving my support to the covert op gank to pay him much attention. My ship pops, we have a chuckle in local and I ask what they were able to salvage from my ship.

“Just the tractor beam.”

Profitable excursion. They probably spent more on ammo than they got back in loot. Hell I got more back on my insurance than they made in killing me. Thanks guys! Either way it was a fun little encounter. I ask if either wants to test that fit against one of my Punishers but no one pipes up. I decide I probably shouldn’t head back out to finish my hauling. Besides, Snow has a fresh batch of Arbitrators in the hangar ready for me to fit! That news makes my evening and I rocket my pod over to the hangar to grab one. Only problem is someone put the hangar offline, and I can’t get anything out of it! Nothing seems to be going my way tonight. That’s alright, I only had about an hour to play anyway and even though I lost a ship in the process, it was entertaining, although I don’t think Oz will let me forget I was ganked by an Anathema piloted by a Mr. Moontitties anytime soon.

My Other Car is a Pilgrim

Today was torture. I’m working from home again and log onto Eve with my laptop while working on my desktop. Oz and Azx are online and just finishing up scanning down the neighboring wormhole sites. I check in with my planetary interface crews and then settle in to some more report writing.

The comms pick up almost instantly. Apparently there is a group of miners in the neighboring C2 system, and Oz and Azx are moving in for a raid. Writing becomes a little more difficult as reports of the raid come streaming in. A Coveter is destroyed, then a Hulk. The mining group is annihilated by our raiding forces and I can do nothing but sit and listen to the cheers as the ships explode.

So unfair.

The day continues with further skirmishes between the C2 inhabitants. Oz takes another frigate down before things start to quiet down. Looks like I’m going to miss out on all the action yet again. I put my PI on 1 hour turnovers to squeeze a few extra thousand units of resources out of them while I work on my real life obligations.

It’s 21:16 and I finally finish with report writing and settle down for a little Eve time. I’m the only one online, but the bulletin reports that a few of the C2 junkies have stolen a few of our anomalies. That’s all well and good but they’re nowhere to be seen now and I’m itching for a fight. I jump into my Pilgrim after killing a few sleepers in one of our ladar sites and hit the connecting lo-sec systems.

The system I jump into is empty. So is the one adjacent to it, and the one adjacent to that. Looks like it’s going to be another slow night. I decide to engage a few rats in Menri while I wait for someone to pass through. Not more than a few minutes pass before a Manticore shows up on my d-scanner. I like the looks of those odds. His frigate probably won’t last more than 10 seconds against my drones. I start d-scanning for him, I even see a wreck show up on the scanner’s screen which suggests he’s in a belt, but he leaves the system before I am able to track him down.

I decide to tail him, but never am able to make the connection. He’s not dumb enough to hunker down in a system when he knows someone is following him. I really hate the local channel, what’s the fun in being cloaked if they know I’m here?! Azx logs back in and we try to coordinate a search for prey but it’s already late and I have other obligations to attend to this evening. I make my way back to our home system again without a kill. Hopefully tomorrow will bring some new and more promising opportunities.